Goda masala or Kala masala

One of the most requested recipes on this blog is this Marathi special, very fragrant dry masala. I was waiting for a trip to India to get this recipe from my pachi (aayi’s sister) who is my very important connection to anything Marathi :).

I still remember those days in Belgaum. I was in college hostel while doing my bachelors. The food in the canteen was so bad that after a while we could not take it any more. My roommate and I had always eaten homemade Konkani food and this hostel food was a big shock to us. She knew little bit of cooking which was mainly Konkani – with ground coconut masalas. We were not allowed to go and meet our relatives every week (otherwise I would have probably visited pachi every weekend). So we were in for a big trouble.

One day, I went to pachi’s house and asked her for some simple recipes that I could cook in the hostel on a typical small one burner electric stove and without the help of any other electrical appliances like mixer, blender. Keeping in mind I didn’t even know to make simple rice, she gave me few suggestions. She gave me some kala masala and gave some simple ideas of using this masala. Also some other masalas which I have forgotten now. But I still remember the heavenly aroma of this kala masala.

So this time, when we had been to India, I asked pachi for the recipe. She said she buys the ready made powder and also, every one has their own versions which have different aromas. She promised to ask around in her family and give me the recipe for the one she likes the most.

After few days, she suggested a recipe from the famous book Ruchira by Kamalabayi Ogle. When I tried this, I made very few modifications to it and reduced all the ingredients proportionately to make this powder in a quantity that we can finish when it is still fresh.

Verdict – I clearly remember this fragrance. A tea spn of this masala in any dish, brightens the whole dish. I have been using this a lot these days. I am living my college days again. One of the first dishes I tried with this is, my favorite Kale vatanechi amti .

Remember – If you are making any dry masala, make it in small quantity and finish as soon as possible (like in 1-2 months). As time passes, the fragrance goes away bit by bit.

Fry in oil:
1 cup coriander seeds
1/8 cup cumin seeds
3/4 tea spn shah jeera
1/2 tea spn cloves
1 fingerlong cinnamon
2 gms asafoetida
1/8 cup dagad phool
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds

Dry roast:
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup dessicated coconut

Other ingredients:
1/4 tea spn turmeric powder
1/4 cup chilli powder
Salt (I did not add this)

Heat very little oil and fry all the ingredients under ‘fry in oil’. Take care not to burn anything. You can fry them one by one. Take them out.
Dry roast the ingredients under ‘dry roast’.
Grind all of them together to a smooth powder. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Store in air tight container. (I divided it into two equal parts. One I kept in freezer. It will be used after the first batch gets over).

PS: For those who have never seen dagad phool, here is a picture. It is not same as star anise. This looks like dried flowers or lichens that are often seen on trees. It has a very strong smell. I think the main characteristic aroma of kala masala comes from this ingredient. Aayi uses this in her chicken curry, so for me, this spice has typical chicken curry smell :).

77 thoughts on “Goda masala or Kala masala”

  1. Hi,

    I have many powder recipes posted by u , just want to ask can u get good powder like fine if u grind it in the blender u get here (not the indian mixer). if anyone has any experience please let me know because i really want to make samabar powder so i will bw waiting.


    Shilpa: You can use coffee grinder for grinding masalas.

  2. Shilpa, thank you soo much for the recipe. I’ve never tried goda masala until now and everytime some one used it in a recipe I would wonder about the taste. Will try this soon 🙂

  3. Hello shilpa, im a regular silent visitor to your website, and i wanted a recipe for this masala coz its my fav too 🙂

    i just wanted to know wts dagad phool known in english? im based in the UAE and i want to avoid blank stares when i say i want stone flower 🙁

    thanks so much for your help…

    Shilpa: I checked the pack, it does not have any English name :(. Some people call it stone flower or rock flower.

    1. sorry that this response comes in really really late! but if you are still looking for dagad phool – you will find it in the ‘Al Adil’ supermarkets in the UAE

    2. Rashmi, if you are still in UAE, you will get dagad phool in Al Adil. Purchased it last week.


  4. hi shilpa…
    what is dagad phool – star anise? please let me know. I am
    in Abu Dhabi…


    Shilpa: No, they are not the same. Please check the update in my post.

  5. Hey Shilpa, where did you get the kale vatane from? The picture of the aamti looks tempting. And i completely agree, the warm aroma of goda masala is so comforting.

    Shilpa: Indian store. Do you want some?

  6. I liked that story…you couldn’t even cook rice back then? But look at you now!!! 🙂

    I love goda masala too- such a unique flavour that is hard to describe- (warm and mysterious?), but right now I have only three recipes in which I use it: one for green beans, one for katachi aamti, and one for patrode that I made up. So…it will be great to see what happens with the black peas. 😀

    I notice you are having similar questions asked about dagad phool that a few others have also had…”stone/rock flowers” is the only English I have ever heard for it. It is an aromatic lichen that grows only in very few places of the world, and, as far as I know, only appears in Marathi dishes. Manisha might know more…but I do know that it is hard to find here in the states; I seem to remember that there was just ONE online Indian grocer that stocked it (can’t recall which one though).

    Shilpa: Ohh in those days, I used to think, I would never be able to cook :D. I was terrified of stove ;).
    We have a very good Indian store here in Kansas and we get the dagad phool there (in huge packet which is enough for my next generation also).

  7. Hi…ur kale vatanyachi amti looks mouthwatering….just 1 question, do you use white sesame seeds or black?

    Shilpa: I used white.

  8. Shilpa, wonderful ! Recipe for Goda masala! When I had come frm last vacation, my sil handed me freshly made n packed Goda masala packets! I did use one, in amtis (marathi style)but as u rightly said, the fragrance diminishes after a few weeks , I threw away the second pack 🙁 now m waiting for ur recipe for the mouthwatering dish u hv shown abv! 😀 (wd use normal garam masala n green dried peas)

  9. Hi! nice tempting post ! I saw some readers ask about dagadful! yes it is same as Star anise(English name) ! I too live in Gulf and was confused totally with spices names when first arrived here armed with all my mooms cooking recipes and spices instructions about 7 years back . Rashmi… u can try Mazdi brand Star anise..(English name and arabic also will be mentioned on the packets.) Its good .
    Some other brands like Priya /MDH also do sell star anise powders but its better when bought in whole .Its use is miminum in arabic cooking normally we dont find these in big supermarkets.So i normally buy these in indian stores .

    Shilpa: Shubhangi, star anise and dagad phool are not same. They look different and have very different aroma. Please check my update in the post.

  10. I beg to differ with Shubhangi. Dagad phool and Star anise are not the same. To the best of my knowledge Dagad phool is not available in N. America/Canada it is only available in India and particularly Maharashtra. It stays good for quite some time.

  11. wow! thank you shilpa & shubhangi for helping me out..

    vyjayanthi: im gonna check the Al Adil outlet in dubai/sharjah, might get lucky!!!you can give a try there..

  12. Thanks for posting such a wonderful Masala Shilpa. It is my favorite too. Used it any dishes makes it so aromatic. Last time i got it from the Indian store. I am going to try this one ASAP after i get dagad phool. As you said the big packet might last me till my daughter in law comes home after a few years. I love kalya vatanyachi aamti too. I got abt 2 kgs of the same from Mumbai as here it is not avble in the Indian Stores here. Waiting for your recipe of the same.

  13. Store it in the freezer, Shilpa. It will last longer.

    Some idiot wrote that dagadphool is the same as star anise and now everyone thinks they are the same. Star anise is the fruit of an evergreen tree. Dagadphool is a lichen. Not the same.

    There are reports that this lichen is found in the US but I am not knowledgeable enough to tell the difference between dagadphool and these lichens. Pics of ‘shaiba leaves’ look very much like dagadphool except that the dagadphool I have seen has been more grey than brown.

    Musy, you can get kale vatane in some Indian stores. My friend lugged them for me from Texas. I haven’t seen them in Chicagoland or around here.

    Shilpa: I was waiting for your comment Manisha. Thanks. Yes, I stored half of it in freezer.
    About star anise and dagad phool, I don’t know why people have created such a misunderstanding everywhere on the internet. I just searched for dagad phool and got the links for star anise. Since aayi used this frequently in chicken gravy, I knew how it looked like. Otherwise would have definitely got confused.

    1. if you have a bit of dagad phool, could you show it to a local botany department to get the definitive answer? it will put all of us out of our misery.

      is goda the same as kala masala?

      coffee grinders dont make fine powders. leaves gritty bits that spoil the texture of the dish

  14. Hi Shilpa,

    I am regular visitor to you blog and really like reading your recipes. My husband is telugu and my MIL has a sambar recipe in which she uses Dhagad Phool. Can you please tell me whether you know where to get them in US? I have looked everywhere but no luck. You can email me at my email address. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Shilpa: I found it in Indian store. Not sure if it is available anywhere else.

  15. Have been looking for this recipe for ages…couldn’t get a relative who makes it to give it to me. That’s what I love about food bloggers…they share so generously. That’s why I decided to join the Club
    Thanks Shilpa

  16. hi manisha,,

    trust me, i was born in Saudi Arabia,, lived my entire life there,, i am 49 yrs old,, Shaiba leaves are dagad phool,,Saudi ‘s also put these leaves in their tea

    Shilpa: Thanks for the name Jaya mayi.

  17. hi,
    i am a frequent visitor of ur website. it is excellent. what is meant by dagadphool ? i saw the picture of it. but i couldn’t understand. do u know the translation of dagad phool in gujarati, malayalam or any other indian language? do we get in the grocery store?

    thanks in advance

    Shilpa: Seetha, I do not know its name in any other language. It is usually available in Indian stores.

  18. Shilpa,

    Can you tell me the name of the indian store. I live in KS too and have searched for this dagad phool in vain……

    Incidentally if you dont want this post after you’ve answered my question, please go ahead and delete it 🙂

    Shilpa: Ambica – 89th and Metcalf (next to walmart neighborhood).

  19. rashmi,

    thanks, I could find dagad phool at Al Adil – and also they
    have ready made goda masala powder with them..


    are u related to Ms. Jaya v shenoy ?

    Shilpa: No, I am not related to Mrs Jaya Shenoy.

  20. Dear Shilpa,

    Thanks for Kala Masala. Kindly let me know in which other dishes we can use this masala apart from the one you have mentioned. Also, please tell in which other masala powder, we can use Dagad phool. Can it added to Sambar powder or Palya masala etc.



    Shilpa: Please search goda masala in the searchbox on the top of the site. There are many dishes you can use it. You can’t use dagad phool in sambar powder as it has a very strong aroma. I use it in chicken curries.

  21. Hi Shilpa,

    I live in Canada and where I live I dont think i can find dagad phool.. Can I replace that with something else?

    Shilpa: Suma, I haven’t seen any other spice which can substitute for dagad phool, it has a very different and unique aroma.

  22. hey shilpa.
    what is dagad phool in konkani..

    shilpa: I don’t think it has a Konkani name, I haven’t seen its usage in any Konkani dishes.

    1. Hi there,
      I live in goa and went looking for dagadphool and was only shown star anise. I was told the konkani name is ‘xello’ as in ‘amballo’.

      Shilpa your recipes are always spot-on. Your website is my go-to page for authentic kokani dishes!!! Keep it up!!!

  23. thanks a lot for the recipe and about the reality of the Dagar phool… aaj tak i’ve been made a phool about this phool. i think as star anise is translated as phool chakri , the two have got mixed up somewhere.

  24. Hi Shilpa….I so know that aroma of goda masala.. There was this girl in my office who used to bring egg curry made with this masala………we used to sit in different depts and beileve it or not the day she had this in her lunchbox and she opened the whole office would be awash with the aroma………….yes we still have offices where there arent any separate canteen areas so some lunchtime there is a burst of aromas……….

  25. Hi Shilpa

    I brought very little quantity of dagadphool and kaale vatane on my last trip to Inida, which I will soon run out of.

    Do you think this store in Kansas – Ambica, will ship it to Canada ?

    Shilpa: I am not sure. You may check out their website

  26. Hello Aayi
    I like your recipes. I wanted one recipe that is the muslims prepare Sherwa(gravy) either of Chiken or mutton. Please you please have it send me across. I had been to my native place there one muslim group was going to picnic their gravy ie sherwa fell in local bus and fortunately i was in that bus and cannot forget that smell. So i thought u will be able to help me
    thank you

  27. Thanks shilpa for this recipe of kala masala….once i hv tasted an excellent “kale masale ki khichdi” at my one aunty’s place nd till date..i hvnt forgotten its flavour . Nw aftr seeing this recipe ..hope i too can also make the same:)

    I can see there is sm confusion regarding dagadphool.. ..after seeing the pic I knw tht in central india this spice is also known as CHABEELA. hope dis will help to clear sm confusion.

  28. Hi Shilpa,

    I wanted to know your cup measurement, every time I try one of your recipes I just assume some average Indian tea-cup size for it, but it will be nice if you could give me some sort of a reference (e.g how many milliliters).

    Here in Australia, I use those different measurements you get in the shops for 1 cup , 1/2 cup, 1/3rd cup etc. and I feel that cup will be too big for your recipes.


  29. Dagad phool is called as Kallu hoovu in Kannada. It is available in any shop which sells native herbs (Grandhige Angadi). In Bangalore you can get it in the shops around Gandhi bazaar Circle of Basavanagudi area. Some people use this in preparing Mysore Sambar. It gives a specail aroma for Sambar.

  30. Hi Shilpa,

    I have a question – the very 1st ingredient you say is 1 cup coriander seeds? Is that right? 1cup? Sounds like a lot compared to 1/8, 1/4 etc cups or a few gms or teaspoons of other ingredients. Just want to confirm this is not a typo.


  31. Great recipes on this site. Searched for dagaphool for the longest time here in Georgia, USA and finally found it in an Indian Store in Atlanta called Patel Brothers (google it). They have many packets of those. You can call and check if they deliver by post…!

    Keep up the good work Shilpa. Thanks..

  32. Dagad phool is also known as mountain moss.Star anise is diffrent it resembles a 5 petaled wooden flower with small seeds in it.In Bangalore Dagad phool available at Star Bazar chain of hypermarkets.

  33. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for posting this recipe! Its so much help when we are not in India and want to make those dishes that we always yearn for…Thanks a bunch! Nandan always goes to your site to make any indian dishes. 🙂

    Take care

  34. Thank u so very much Shilpa for this recipe. i am a big foodie and i loved the konkani cuisine on a recent trip to Goa. I am definitely going to try out this masala ASAP. Dagad phool in many indian languages is also called shailaj. i live in ooty and it is plentily available here. this spice is also used in many a east indian recipes…mainly non vegetarian ones. In western parts of orissa they mainly use it in lamb curry. thank you again.

  35. Sowmya Venkatesh

    Hi Shilpa,

    i bought shahjeera but the packet said kala jeera…when i asked the shopkeeper he said both are same… does shahjeera have a stinky smell??

  36. Nice to know of this recipe of Kaala Masala. Interestingly, the Kaala Masala used in traditional brahmin households of Maharashtra do not use strong spices, such as cinnamon or cloves in their Kaala Masala. The reason being, this version makes the masala, very saatvic (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sattvic_diet). Not eating meat and keeping garlic/onion to a minimum and using Kaala Masala with the above change has been the regimen for hundreds, if not thousands of years towards increasing the saatvic quality of the being. Unfortunately, very few people know this ! Garam Masala has a reason for it being named so, because it increases the raajasic quality (restlessness). It has an amazing flavor, no doubt, but consistent use has its effect. Quality of food affects the mind in a large degree!

  37. Well! the dagad phool confusion has been sorted out for me! After reading all the comments. The recipe from a konkan cookbook als has green cardamoms, peppercorns, bay leaves, mace and nagkesar!! Also no special instructions for frying in oil and dry roast.I wonder if the above ingredients are not necessary as they are there in all the garam masalas. Soma.

  38. Thanks for the recipe. Star anise & dagad phool are entirely different.dagad phool is also called Pathar ka phool in hindi

  39. We are using the Tejpatta and cardmon/ Elaichi both masala and normal ilaichi which is using in sweets. Also we are using the Groudnnuts. But not using the methi.

  40. Thanks Shilpa for sharing your well tried recipes.This is the first time I am on this blog and I will try this masala if I manage to get our magic dagadphool.Lol…you had lot of patience going through all the controversy here.Anyway I am from Brisbane,Australia.I did find dagadphool on Amazon.com for all our American friends.(50 gms is costing $18.Does it cost the same elsewhere?)

  41. Thanks Shilpa for the recipe…
    I made the masala over last weekend and tried it yesterday for an upkari i made for sankashti. It was awesome and just like the one I used to ask my colleague to get me from belgaum.
    I live in bangalore and got the dagad phool in gandhi bazaar… it is called kalllu hoovu in the gandhige shops around the place. cost some 40Rs. for 10 gms or so i guess.
    Thanks again for the recipe… my problem of sourcing it through others is over 🙂

  42. Hi Shilpa, thanks for the masala recipe.. My mil’s secret ingredient has to be ‘kala tikhat’ .. She’s maharashtrian and a wonderful cook.. Also, Dagad phool is also known as Kalpasi in tamil and its scientific name is Parmotrema perlatum. It’s a lichen as someone above mentioned. Cheers and keep the recipes coming.

  43. Hi,
    one of my friend from pune, had this masala in her house. When asked her she said it was her mom’s secret recipe. She also said that they fry onions, tomatoes and dry them in sun. Rest she didnt say!!!!!! So my question is do we add fried onion and tomatoes to the mix. Pls do let me knw.

    1. Hi Swetha
      Onion and some time lasan [garlic] is added but that is not typical Brahmin Goda Masala.
      This type of Masala usually used for non vegetarian dishes

    1. That is very hard to say. I would suggest making the above recipe and use as much as needed. I think the powder will remain which you can use in future recipes

  44. Hi Shilpa. You have a very nice blog. In the Kala/Goda masala recipe you probably missed Bay leaf ( Tamal patra).
    Just to answer someone who asked about about onions, Southern MH (Solapur) side, they do add fried onion in Kala masala.But tomatoes…sorry they are NEVER added !!!! .Also there are versions of this masala being made without coconut, since coconut (or rather its oil) changes its taste (what they call it becomes “khavat” in marathi) after few months and masala starts tasting different.Thanks

  45. Hello It is too too late reply – 9 yrs too late but
    Dagadphool is sort of Mushroom or kind of fungus – it is bluish black with gray white – very light in weight being dried fungus
    It is not star anise is in marathi called chekra phool

  46. Any suggestions for a reliable brand of dagad phool and nagkeshar in Mumbai or on Amazon ?

    I tried out your recipe for goda masala but the above mentioned ingredients especially dagad phool failed to add any flavour to the end product.

    Most of the time the dagad phool sold in shops is too old and has lost all its flavour.

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